TS: Why was this program so important for you to develop?
Jodi: I knew we would do it the way it should be done. The idea of the program itself came from my own education and what information I actually ended up using. I knew with my experience, both as a professional photographer and an educator, that I could create a high end, comprehensive pathway of classes but in a concise format. I see lots of classes available that I know are generating huge gaps in the knowledge base. I wanted our program to deliver a deep, thorough understanding but in a pragmatic way.
TS: What makes THEIA's [APP] so different from other photography programs?
Jodi: The way we fit all the elements together – from the topics covered in each course, to who teaches them and when in the program new concepts are introduced. We've taken this enormous concept and broken it down into simple steps. My saying is “we eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
We have very experienced instructors that are committed to sharing their knowledge. We design classes that cover a lot of ground but at a digestable pace and we shoot, shoot, shoot! Most classes have shooting time built into the format.
Plus, there aren't that many programs available that are as flexible and cost-effective as ours. It's a 12-month, part-time avocational program designed to fit into a busy lifestyle. It's not a 2-year or 4-year commitment.
TS: Why not just do it online, and/or at your own pace?
Jodi: Online learning is a wonderful option for those studies that are more lecture based. Photography is very tactile and needs to be “experienced.” Even though we begin in the classroom most of the time, we end up in the studio practicing whatever topic was covered. That's when the true understanding comes.
Beyond that basic piece is what you get from your peers. Encouragement, perspective, friendship, an instructor at your shoulder coaching you…it all works together to make a much more vibrant learning atmosphere.
And, if it were me, I would need a scheduled time away from the house (and kids) to really concentrate and not be distracted!